Israeli ban of the call to prayer: Clear violation of Palestinian rights
Source: Vyara Gylsen
On Sunday, the Knesset's Ministerial Committee for Legislation authorised a controversial proposal to ban mosques from using loudspeakers or public address systems to summon worshippers for prayer. Labelled as the "muezzin bill", the proposal faces three readings in parliament before it is likely to be passed and become law.
Yesterday, a Palestinian MP in Israel made the Muslim call to prayer
in the Knesset to protest against what is considered to be a threat to religious freedom of Palestinians and as part of the many attacks on every aspect of Palestinian lives.
The Independent wrote an article
, whitewashing and normalising the latest move by Israel to erase aspects of Palestinian religion, history and culture, by implying the proposal is similar to European Legislation. The article admits that there are already noise laws that apply to mosques but fails to give any further context.
Israel has been illegally occupying East Jerusalem since 1967, while it has colonised and ethnically cleansed the rest of Palestine for almost 100 years. It displaced and replaced the indigenous people in order to set up as a Jewish State and fails protect the human rights of the indigenous inhabitants in present day Israel and the Occupied Territories. There are over 80 racist laws in Israel, which discriminate against Palestinians and attack every aspect of their lives.
The bill comes under the guise
of targeting noise polution, but looked at in its proper context, it is obvious to see its Islamophobic and anti-Palestinians undercurrent.
In his article
, Professor Kamel Hawwash argues the Muslim call to prayer was likely first heard in Jerusalem in 637AD. A tradition fundamental to Jerusalem's identity
. Jerusalem is a sacred home to Jews, Muslims and Christians, however the Israeli machine consistently violates Christians and Muslims' rights to worship and religious freedom.
Israel enforces restriction of movement on Palestinians, preventing them from visiting their mosques. Even before the legislation was debated by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, it was reported
that the Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) raided three mosques in the Palestinian town of Abu Dis in East Jerusalem to enforce a ban on the call for player and banned local Muslims from reaching their place of worship.
Jewish extremists, settlers and the IOF frequently storm
Al Aqsa Mosque en masse, the third holiest site for Muslims, to harass, threaten, intimidate and antagonise worshippers.
Israel frequently denies entry permits to Muslims travelling from Gaza and the West Bank wanting to worship at the Al Aqsa mosque. The IOF withhold Muslim's IDs and bar them from entering their mosques while Jewish extremists perpetrate violence against worshippers and their mosques. A number of mosques including the Al Aqsa have been set on fire causing not only financial but cultural heritage damage.
Israel doesn't only prevent Palestinians from visiting al Aqsa, it frequently denies Muslims from all around the world their right to visit their third most holiest site by turning them away and denying their entry.
It is not only Muslims or Palestinians that have been under attack, Dr Hawash writes Christians in Israel and the Occupied Territories suffer too, under Israel's discriminatory policies. Churches come under arson attacks and often targetted by extremists who caused damage. The restrictions also prevent Christians from accessing holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Israeli leaders such as Benzi Gopstein even called Christians "blood sucking vampires" who should be expelled from Israel. Still the international community did not question the Jewish extremism or violent Israeli policies denying the right to religious freedom.
All of this in the face of heightened tensions in Jerusalem since October 2015 and further deterioration of the prospect of peace negotiations, Israel time and time again shows to the world that they are not interested in peace. They continue to add oil to the fire, then pounce on every opportune moment to publicise when Palestinians react to their oppressive, discriminatory and inhumane policies and treatment. They add more and more obstacles to peace and yet blame their neighbours for being unreasonable and unwilling to negotiate. They continuously raise the bar of their illegal and inhumane practices, becoming more and more bold and daring to infringe on the rights and dignity of the Palestinians, while the international community turns a blind eye. The question then remains, when will people learn that Israel is not interested in peace, it is interested in absolute power and control of all Palestinian land. judaisation of the area and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. They are not interested in a democracy, they are interested in taking away Palestinian rights and erasing all signs of Palestinian history and culture, crushing Palestinians with their unjust practices until they die, they leave, or until they crush their spirits.
The Palestinian spirit however will never die and Palestinian resistance will never end until Palestinians achieve justice and their freedom and right to self determination. Palestinians will also never forget those who stood in silence and the history books will not be kind to those who are allowing the treatment of people to be worse than the treatment of cattle. Those who do not help today, have no right to look back decades later and claim how terrible the situation is. Those who can, should take action now and not watch human catastrophe unfold before our eyes.
#Call to Prayer